You probably know the drill when you go in to see your doctor for a cold, or sore throat. A visit to a physician or medical doctor’s office tends to have certain expectations attached to it. However, for many people, the idea of going to visit a therapist, or speaking with a mental health counselor, seems like a daunting, open-ended process that can leave people skeptical or apprehensive of the experience.
Many people are afraid to expose that they are having a problem, let alone talk to someone about it or admit that they are in mental health counseling. This is an attitude that needs changing. Making a commitment to mental health counseling takes courage and shows you are willing to show up for yourself to do some work. It won’t always be easy, but you will have the potential to learn about yourself and make improvements in your daily life. You don’t have to have a mental health disorder for therapy to be helpful. Anyone, yes anyone, could potentially benefit from mental health care at various times in their lives.
It’s not all fluff and abstract. It is real and it works.
- Most people report that talking to a mental health counselor is helpful.
- Talk therapy and a number of specific techniques and treatment interventions have been proven effective for a wide range of mental health issues and behavioral health.
Mental health counselors may work with you as an individual, in group therapy, which includes other people who have similar issues, or in family therapy. Many therapists have a specific approach or set of cognitive therapy techniques when working with people – depending on their area of expertise, training, and personality. Some are more directive in their style of working and some are more passive.
Things to remember when going into your first therapy session :
- You can ask questions to determine your therapist’s style. Through these types of discussions, you will be better able to identify a potential therapist that will fit you best.
- Therapists should guide and challenge you to examine yourself, your patterns, and empower you toward personal growth in whatever area you are seeking.
- Counseling is like a lot of things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. And while it may be uncomfortable at times because working through emotions isn’t always easy, that’s what your sessions are for.
- Friends and family are great support. However, sometimes because they know you so well, or are close to your situation, they might make it difficult for you to fully process and separate out all of the things you’re experiencing.
- If a group format appeals to you, there are a few general types of groups. Skills groups are organized around learning and practicing a particular ability or set of abilities (e.g., being an effective team leader, social skills, etc.).
- Exploring things related to your personal identity and history can be a complex process; each aspect of your identity is independent and dynamic. Therapy offers a non-judgmental space with a trained professional counselor who can support you through your journey of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-esteem.
If you or someone you know has a mental health emergency, call the 24/7 crisis line 844-493-8255 or text ‘TALK’ to 38255. If you’re ready to start a journey of healthy living and mental well-being, call or walk in with same day access for an intake appointment with one of Diversus Health’s licensed professional counselors.